If you want to take card payments in your business, you’ll need a PDQ machine.
But what exactly is a PDQ machine?
A PDQ is just another name for a card machine It offers a safe and quick way to accept card payments from your customers. Find out more about their benefits, how they work, and which type of PDQ machine is right for your business with our guide.
PDQ stands for ‘Process Data Quickly’. It was the original name used for card machines way back when they were first introduced to the UK, and it’s still a name some people use for them today.
In fact, PDQ machine is actually an umbrella term used for describing any device that can take credit or debit card payments. Card machines, card readers, and Chip and PIN machines are all classed as PDQ machines because they have the same purpose: to process card payments.
However, the PDQ machines of yesteryear worked quite differently to how they do today. In fact, they didn’t really live up to their original name at all.
The first PDQ machines required customers to swipe their credit or debit card through it in order to take a payment. The machine then printed out a receipt, which the customer would have to sign to authorise the payment.
Staff would then need to check the signature to the one that’s on the back of their card to make sure that they matched. It was a very long-winded process and not safe at all! It meant that if a customer’s card had been lost or stolen, the thief would just need to perfect the signature on the back of the card to commit fraud.
Thankfully, PDQ machines have come a long way since then.
Old PDQ machines could be easily used for card payment fraud, so banks launched a new technology in 2006 to help combat this: Chip and PIN.
Chip and PIN works by having your customer insert their debit or credit card into the card machine. But instead of providing a signature, they type in a 4-digit PIN code. This PIN should be unique and secret to them.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of exactly what happens:
Chip and PIN is considered a quicker and much more secure way to pay, and since it was introduced, annual counterfeit card fraud losses dropped by £81.9 million between 2004 and 2014.
PDQ machines have evolved over the years and there are a few main types, each with slightly different features and functions designed to suit various businesses.
The beauty of PDQ machines is that they’re made to accept a range of card payments, meaning your business can stay up-to-date with the latest methods on the market.
PDQ terminals are compatible with:
After their first iteration, PDQ machines were primarily made to handle Chip and PIN payments, which became one of the most popular payment methods thanks to their safe and easy-to-use design. Therefore, PDQs are more than capable of handling everyday Chip and PIN requests.
Contactless payments have boomed in recent years. We collected data from takepayments card machines and point of sale systems throughout 2022, and found that contactless was used in 9 out of 10 transactions when looking at the total number of contactless and Chip and PIN payments.
To deal with this rising popularity, PDQ machines have evolved to seamlessly handle contactless card transactions.
Here at takepayments, all of our PDQs are set up to take contactless payments, so your customer can also tap and go for smaller amounts up to £100.
PDQ terminals can also handle even newer electronic payment methods, like mobile payment using Apple or Google Pay. Mobile payments don’t require a plastic card and can be initiated simply by using a smart mobile device.
Even more convenient than the traditional contactless method, mobile payments are used by 25.7% of people worldwide.
No matter what you want to call them, a PDQ machine is an essential device that business owners should consider.
If you don’t take cards already, you’ll benefit from:
interested in investing in a PDQ machine or upgrading your existing one? We make it easy to get started.
We’ve got a team of local payment consultants who can come out and meet you to learn more about your business. They’ll then create a personalised pricing package around your business to best suit your needs. Plus, there are no set-up fees to join!
We also understand the need to be flexible. That’s why we offer short 12-month contracts.
Fill in our short form today for a free quote, or give us a call on 08082 393254.